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Shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, an epic novel of startling originality which confirms Nicola Barker as one of Britain's most exciting literary talents. This is a rowdy, riotous tale, a tale in which the medieval past takes on a face, name, and occupation and roams around the humdrum town of Ashford, bringing chaos to the lives of those it picks on. No one is safe: not upstanding Beede and his drug-dealing son, nor teen chav Kelly who zestily finds God (much to the dismay of the Reverend responsible), or Gaffar, the tiny, amorous Kurd with an unusual fear of salad.Darkmans is a world where language snaps and crackles like static, twitching with barely containable energy. Past and present mingle and blur, and the lines between fantasy and reality, sanity and madness are continually rubbed out and redrawn - but by whose hand? And what about the grand scheme of things - is life a coincidence or is it a pattern, plotted by all-seeing, unknown forces?The third of Nicola Barker's visionary narratives of the Thames Gateway, Darkmans is a very modern book about very old-fashioned subjects: love and jealousy. It's also about invasion, obsession, displacement and possession, about comedy, art, prescription drugs and chiropody. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2007 and following on from Wide Open (winner Dublin IMPAC award 2000) and Behindlings it confirms Nicola Barker as one of Britain's most original, innovative and exciting literary talents.
Nicola Barker lives and works in east London. She was the winner of the David Higham Prize for Fiction and joint winner of the Macmillan Silver Pen Award for 'Love Your Enemies', her first collection of stories. Her second story collection, 'Heading Inland', received the John Llewellyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday Prize. Her novel 'Wide Open' won the IMPAC Prize in 2000, and 'Clear' was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2004. She is one of Granta's 'Best Young British Novelists' of the decade.